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leader harry reid has decided to remove the assault weapons ban from a larger reform package. it will, instead, be voted on as an amendment. nbc's mike viqueira joins us live now. mike, what happened? why did the majority leader decide that 157 different models of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines did not deserve to be a part of a broader bill to ensure that tragedies like that in aurora, in newtown, connecticut, never happen again? what's happened? >> reporter: well, you know, harry reid was faced with a very fundamental question, martin. he could put on what is essentially an unpopular measure, dianne feinstein notwithstanding, and that's a renewal of the assault weapons ban. he could put it on that base bill and have it bring down the entire bill. under that circumstances, by harry reid's estimation, it has fewer, martin, fewer than 40 votes in support in the united states senate. you can't blame it all on ted cruz and his compatriots on the republican side. there are several democrats who don't favor a renewal of the assault weapons ban. you need 60 votes. harry reid tol
? >> yeah, and i think the defeatest reaction to harry reid's move yesterday on saying that the assault weapons would be an amendment rather than part of the base package is wrong for a couple of reasons. one is we will get a skroet on assault weapons as an amendment. secondly, it's important to keep in mind the long view here. we're at the beginning of a process, not the end of the process. we are seeing, as david pointed out, not just in colorado but elsewhere, change in public opinion here. public opinion has clearly shifted on the side of sensible gun regulations along the lines we've been talking about, feinstein's proposal and others. what david is pointing out, what you are seeing is similar to the anti-tobacco debate and apartheid debate where congress and washington were the lagging indicators of public opinion so you saw a lot of action happening in the states. colorado is not just the only place, a number of there states are thinking object taking action. it's a much, much better indicator of how quickly public opinion is shifting on something. i think you will see movement i
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